The Zen of Getting Out of a Rut and Retrieving Your Mojo
Intuitive understanding some call it. Some call it a religion. Many regard it as philosophy. It doesn’t matter. Practicing Zen can liberate the hidden potential of the human mind.
In one’s own journey of self-discovery, life poses many puzzling questions.
Do you need to be religious in order to find enlightenment?
What does it take to be successful and yet not lose oneself in the process?
How do you keep your sanity in an increasingly insane world?
We all succumb to unhappiness. And we go through a variation of moods and feelings each day. But we have the choice make everyday a fulfilling day.
A great Chinese Zen master once said, “To attain Zen enlightenment it is not necessary to give up family life, quit your job, become a vegetarian, practice asceticism, or flee to a quiet place.”
Zen teaching is the embodiment of freedom. A freedom that, if dependant on things of the world can be undermined, and freedom that can be granted can be taken away. Viktor Frankl, renowned psychiatrist, holocaust survivor and author, relates his experiences from the Nazi death camp in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning:
“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”
Being responsible for one’s words and actions is being free – free from guilt, shame and ego. Professor Frankl liberated himself from his tormentors in four concentration camps during the Holocaust. Frankl suffered degradation and abject misery in a concentration camp, yet he was able to exercise the most important freedom of all. The freedom to determine his own attitude and spiritual well-being. He gathered that those who had nothing to live for died quickest in the concentration camp.
It reminds me of the analogy of being in the world yet not of the world. Picture a lotus covered in mud and yet still blossoms.
It is so easy for us to make excuses and give up all hope. We can make up 263 reasons why things do not go our way and yet you only need one major reason why your life should shine.
This resonates with German philosopher and writer Frederick Nietzsche’s words:
“He who has a why for life can put with any how.”
If you are stuck in a rut and find that life’s challenges too overwhelming, it is time to focus on illuminating your life and find that you can be much much more than what you already are now.